So, there's new Nintendo hardware on the way. It's a 3D handheld system. How, though, will that 3D work? Maybe a recent obscure DSi release offers some clues.
Since we know absolutely nothing about the new handheld other than the fact it will employ 3D and won't need glasses, all we've left on how it actually works is speculation. So, let's speculate!
The game in the clip above is called 3D Hidden Picture. It's a DSiWare puzzle game, available in Japan, that uses the DSi's camera to track the movement of the console, and adjust the image accordingly to make it appear "3D".
It's entirely feasible - taking into account Nintendo's obsession with keeping the cost of its hardware down - that Hidden Picture is a pointer towards how the 3DS will work.
I mean, take a look at the current technology that allows 3D viewing without glasses. It's expensive. Nintendo don't do expensive anymore, since the average consumer won't buy expensive.
So, like the Wii, Nintendo may well "fudge" it. The Wii, while impressive in 2006, cut a lot of corners in terms of responsiveness and accuracy when it came to motion controls, something that's only been recently rectified by the release of the Wii MotionPlus. Why? Not because Nintendo lacked the tech; it was because Nintendo had to keep the cost of the console and its peripherals down.
The 3DS could do something similar. Sure, it could use expensive, advanced technology to display 3D on a handheld, but that would drive the cost of the device up. So it won't. Instead, Nintendo could employ the same basic technology used in Hidden Picture, only using a combination of more advanced cameras and a boost in performance (which would be necessary for the 3D tech) .
After all, Nintendo stated specifically that the 3DS would be compatible not just with the DS, but the DSi as well, suggesting it has cameras. And Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said it himself, when stating that when it came to designing his company's next handheld, it would "be necessary to have a sensor with the ability to read the movements of people playing". When we first heard that it seemed like the handheld would be using motion controls, but it could just as easily be referring to the means by which the console displays 3D images.
As for the rest of the handheld's specifications and abilities, aside from the "DS" part suggesting a return to dual screens, we know even less. But we've already provided our wish list on that, so we won't bother with that again.
[thanks for the vid link, AchromaticMagus!]